An Introduction to Striped Bass

By: Daniel Eggertsen

The striped Bass is a completely different fish that has very little in common with the Largemouth or Smallmouth Bass. It is as much different from the more common bass as a Northern Pike or Walleye is. You need to approach fishing for this species in a completely different manner. You need completely different equipment and a completely different fishing pattern.

For starters they grow much faster and much larger. It is not uncommon to catch Stripers in the 40 lb range. In fact, it is very rare that you will catch a very small Striped Bass. This species grows very quickly, much faster than a Largemouth Bass. A fisherman therefore needs to use different equipment when targeting this species. A large Striped Bass can in a matter of minutes rip 50-75 yards of line of a reel. You need to select a reel with a smooth drag that can hold approximately 150 yards of 20 lb test line. I do not recommend targeting large Striped Bass with less than 20 lb line. You will also need a stout medium to heavy action rod. The rod needs to have enough backbone to set the hook. It also needs to have enough weight to tire the fish as you apply pressure. If you use a rod that is too light the reverse may happen.

The Striped bass prefers a completely different habitat that the Largemouth Bass. Striped Bass prefer water that is very clear. They will not be found is many areas that Largemouth Bass thrive in. This makes them easy enough to find, but it also makes them easy to spook. When you find a prime spot you need to be very discreet in how you approach the area. They also are not attracted to structure and cover. We know the Largemouth Bass is a species that thrives on weed lines as well as standing and fallen timber. The Striped Bass does not require these things. You will often find this fish in the open water. Given the change they do prefer to be near a shoreline. They will however choose any shoreline that offers feeding opportunities. They are not selective in terms of cover available at a specific shoreline area.

Striped Bass also are a schooling fish, even when they reach big sizes. You often will find schools of juvenile Largemouth Bass up to two pounds. The larger members of this species however are primarily solitary fish. This is not true with Striped Bass. You will often find large schools of very large fish. If you are discreet in your approach you can often catch quite a few large fish once you have found a school of them. This makes them much easier to find. In the clear water that they prefer you can many times scan the water surface and see where they are. This is more the case in spring and fall when they feed closer to the surface. When the water temperatures are higher for the bulk of the year they feed at much deeper depths.

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